Founded in 1832 by Auguste Agassiz, the company that would become Longines really came into its own in 1860 when Agassiz’s nephew, Ernest Francillon, took the watch maker’s reigns. Under Francillon, the company moved to a site called Les Longines on the river Suze in 1867, trademarked the name Longines in 1880, and registered the famous winged-hourglass logo in 1889.
Of course, Francillon did more than see to the company’s marketing needs. He also oversaw technological innovations that would make Longines one of the world’s most respected watch makers. One of his first decisions was to introduce anchor escapements into Longines timepieces. Then, in 1888, he presided over Longines’s first certified chronometer.
By 1909, Longines had enough experience with small-caliber movements that it could devote more of its attention to the jewelry watches and wristwatches that would make it famous. Two years later, it introduced a barrel-shaped wristwatch that is considered the precursor of the Longines Evidenza line, which flourished in the 1920s.
As it turns out, the winged-hourglass was a prescient symbol for a company that created numerous timepieces for pilots. In 1919, Longines became the official supplier to the International Aeronautical Federation; in 1925, a Longines accompanied aviator Antonio Locatelli on a flight to the North Pole region; and in 1926, Walter Mittelholzer wore a Longines when he flew from Switzerland to Iran.
But the association really took off, if you will, in 1927, when Charles Lindbergh made his solo flight across the Atlantic. A Longines measurement device at Roosevelt Field in Long Island marked the moment he took off; a similar Longines timepiece at Le Bourget Airfield in Paris where he landed recorded the time of the flight: 33 hours, 30 minutes, 29.8 seconds.
While in the air, Lindbergh had a lot of time to think about a lot of things, including the perfect watch, which he eventually designed for Longines. His Longines Lindbergh Hour Angle, introduced in 1932, used high-frequency quartz regulators to aid in the navigation of transatlantic flights by showing both Greenwich Mean Time and the corresponding hour angle. Needless to say, a Lindbergh Hour Angle from the 1930s is one of the most collectible antique Longines wristwatches available today.
The introduction of a wrist chronograph in 1936 allowed the aviation connection to continue in 1938, when Howard Hughes broke the speed record for a flight around the world. By t...
Calendars, water-resistance, and self-winding mechanisms were added as features to Longines watches during the 1940s. Gold and diamonds became more common as post-war prosperity allowed Longines to go after the luxury market.
And then, in 1954, Longines introduced one of its most enduring sports-lifestyle brands, the Conquest. The handsome Flagship followed in 1957. A vintage Conquest or Flagship from the 1950s is as prized by collectors today as it was by customers in the mid-20th century. Another collectible wristwatch to look from the late 1950s is the Jamboree.
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Sloothaak wins Longines Grand Prix at final leg of the 2015 China TourEurosport.co.uk, December 1st
With the 2015 Longines China Tour now concluded, the final standings has Zhao Zhiwen (Daniel) on top with 43 points – and qualified for the Longines FEI World Cup Final 2016 in Gothenburg, Sweden next March , closely followed by Lam in second with 40 ...Read more
Shonan Pandora edges another home win in Longines Japan CupEurosport.co.uk, December 1st
Shonan Pandora ensured the Japan Cup stayed at home for the 10th year in a row with a narrow win over Ryan Moore's mount Last Impact and hot favourite Lovely Day in Tokyo. The four-year-old daughter of champion Deep Impact stepped up to a mile and ...Read more
Read our in-depth guide to all of this year's Longines Hong Kong Sprint contendersSouth China Morning Post (subscription), November 30th
The Hong Kong International Races are less than two weeks away, with the main contenders beginning to fly in from all corners of the world for next Sunday's turf world championships. The shortest of the four HKIR features is the HK$18.5 million...Read more
Banner Season Earns Dettori 2015 Longines 'World's Best Jockey' HonorsPaulick Report, November 30th
Although it was a close competition for most of the year, Italian-born, British-based jockey Lanfranco “Frankie” Dettori has defeated North America's Victor Espinoza and England's Ryan Moore for the title of 2015 Longines World's Best Jockey. Dettori...Read more
Longines International Jockeys' Championship 2015Time Out Hong Kong, November 27th
Get ready to witness one of the world's largest horse racing events right here in the heart of Hong Kong. Join the Longines Hong Kong International Races which are set to takeoff at Happy Valley Racecourse on Wednesday December 9 for racegoers and ...Read more
Photo Gallery: Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Toronto 2015Practical Horseman Magazine, November 16th
Captain Canada, Ian Millar, is focused walking while the course for the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Toronto 2015 qualifier. The class was held on Remembrance Day, which honors the sacrifices made by Canadians in armed conflict, and the red ...Read more
Postcard: Peter Lutz wins Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Las Vegas 2015Practical Horseman Magazine, November 15th
November 15, 2105—West Coast show-jumping fans are getting to know a lot of new riders thanks to the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League. They were introduced to another one Saturday night as Peter Lutz and the stallion Robin ...Read more
Schloesser, Lopez win Longines Prize for Precision in 2015World Archery Official Website (press release), November 9th
An exclusive watch and a cheque for 5,000 CHF courtesy of World Archery's timing and scoring provider, and title sponsor of the Prize for Precision, Longines. Each year, the discipline eligible for the year-long Longines Prize for Precision switches...Read more